Post from MilitaryByOwner
There are so many things to consider when looking for a rental home after a PCS move. Location and price are usually the least wavering variables. But then there come all sorts of options. You begin comparing master bathrooms, kitchens, and amenities like storage space, garage space, and whether or not there’s a pool. And while all of these desirable attributes play a role in your house hunt, when you have a pet, only one truly matters. Is it pet-friendly?
That sweet little fur baby you adopted calls the shots when it comes time to find a rental home. And unfortunately, not every landlord loves the idea of tenants with pets, so it’s your job to navigate the rental market to find a property that suits your family’s and your pet’s needs. Where to start?
1. Understand where they’re coming from.
That “no pets” policy can come off a little offensive when you’re sitting with your good-natured pup curled up in your lap as you search online for your next rental property. It’s not personal. It’s common knowledge that there are irresponsible pet-owners in the world.
If a landlord presents a strict “no pets allowed” policy, it’s likely because they’ve encountered one (or several) of these less-than-ideal pet owners. Perhaps they entrusted their home to a nice family with a couple of dogs. Then, they found chewed-up baseboards, shredded doors, and stained carpet at the end of the lease term. Now they’re stuck making necessary repairs.
Sure, they have the tenant’s security and pet deposit to cover some or all of the repairs, but they’re losing rental income now because they have to hold off interested renters in order to restore the property.
So, in order to protect their property, finances, and mental health, they’ve enforced a “no pets” policy. Can you blame them?
2. Present yourself as a responsible pet owner.
You know the fear associated with renting to tenants with pets. Be the opposite. Present yourself as a responsible pet owner to calm the landlord's nerves. Getting personal and letting the landlord get to know you will help them get a feel for what kind of person and pet owner you are. People often make decisions with their gut. Give them a reason to trust you.
3. Present solid evidence.
In addition to being transparent with them in conversation, provide the landlord with evidence of how responsible you are and well-behaved your pet is.
- References. Ask your previous landlord to provide their number for reference or write a letter verifying that you’re a responsible pet owner.
- Certificate from pet training. If the landlord is nervous about ill-behaved animals in the property, then a certificate proving that yours completed a professional training course will go a long way toward building confidence.
- Vet records. Showing that your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and visits is another step in proving that you’re responsible.
4. Don’t completely rule out a “no-pets” allowed property.
It’s hard to find a rental you love, and when you have to narrow your search to exclude homes with a no pet policy, your options become fewer. So, if a listing has “no pets” in the advertisement, it’s okay to push a little. However, if they've clearly stated a "strict no pets" policy or a "no-exceptions" note, then you should probably leave it alone.
Exercising respect and common sense to read the situation, it’s okay to open up the discussion. Find out if the landlord created the no pet policy because of a bad encounter.
Relate to them personally if you can. If you’ve rented property to a tenant with pets, then share your experience. Then, use the previous tips to give them the confidence that you’re different. Help them learn you're a responsible pet owner and that taking a chance on you won’t be a mistake. Provide evidence, let them meet your pet, and if you need to, offer to pay a little more.
While you might have to bend on some of your wishlist items when looking for your next pet-friendly rental, it is possible to find a rental home you love and that’s accommodating for all members of your family!
Ready to start your househunt? Hop over to MilitaryByOwner Advertising where you can filter your search for pet-friendly rental properties near your duty station.